not located in Transylvania County, Caesar’s Head Hotel has played an important
role in the history of tourism in the county.
The hotel property was just across the county and state line in South
Carolina and included the rock face that shared a name with the hotel.
early as the mid-1800s visitors from the Piedmont and Low Country escaped the
heat and humidity by spending much of the summer at mountain resorts like
Caesar’s Head Hotel. In Christian Reed’s
1875 romantic adventure story, “The Land of the Sky”, she offers a vivid
description of the endless view that stretches for miles and the spectacular
sunsets seen from Caesar’s Head. Her narrator boasts, “All around this horizon,
as the sun drops behind the western mountains, there comes a radiant, luminous
glow—opalescent as the sea appears at sunset or sunrise. I have never seen any other place which
abounds in such marvelous atmospheric effects as Caesar’s Head, and we are
fortunate in witnessing some of the most lovely of these.”
|This early 1900’s postcard shows the size of the 75-room Caesar’s Head Hotel.
advertisements in the Sylvan Valley News in 1905 stated that the hotel was more
than 50 years old. The room rate was
listed at $2 per day or $9 for the week.
Guests arrived in Brevard by train and made the journey to Caesar’s Head
via the old turnpike road. C.E. Orr’s
Stables offered transportation for $5-9 with an added fee for baggage.
hotel and surrounding property received extensive renovations, including new flooring and interior decorating as well as new piazzas, exterior
paint and additional cottages, prior to the 1910 season.
|Caesar’s Head road was, and still is, a popular
attraction for sightseers.
1911 Solomon Jones became the caretaker for the hotel and property. His daughter, Vera Jones Stinson, tells of
growing up at the popular site in her memoir, “Stumbling Blocks Were Stepping
Stones in Appalachia.” It was here that Vera began her lifetime of storytelling. As she led visitors to the Head she
shared tales of the rock and surrounding area.
the years the roads from both Greenville and Brevard were improved and by the
1920s people arrived in automobiles. In
1925 improvements were again made to the historic hotel, this time bringing
electricity to the property. Tracts were
also subdivided for summer homes and cottages.
hotel continued to operate until September 9, 1954 when it, along with the
servant’s quarters and a nearby cottage, was completely destroyed by fire.
and information for this column are provided by the Rowell Bosse North Carolina
Room, Transylvania County Library. Visit the NC Room during regular library
hours (Monday-Friday) to learn more about our history and see additional
photographs. For more information, comments, or suggestions contact Marcy at